Cook County Board President John Stroger remained in a West Side hospital Tuesday night, recovering from a stroke suffered a week before last night’s primary, as he and supporters expected a re-election victory.

But the Cook County Board presidential race remained in limbo early Wednesday as Stroger supporters squabbled with challenger and Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool over voting irregularities in Tuesday night’s primary.

By early Wednesday, Stroger held a slight lead over Claypool, 52 percent to 48 percent more than 80 percent of precincts reporting.

The two were in a virtual dead-heat throughout most of the tumultuous night. But problems with new electronic voting machines delayed vote counts in several races from precincts across the state. The two camps for Cook County Board president charged voter fraud and missing ballots as the two candidates teetered back and forth in the lead. Stroger’s camp also charged that votes from predominantly black communities were being withheld. No winner was declared in the race as of Wednesday morning.

Remaining ballots were sealed late Tuesday with counting expected to resume Wednesday.

Stroger, 76, suffered a stroke early Tuesday March 14. He remains at Rush University Medical Center, still suffering partial paralysis on his left side, unable to speak or walk. Doctor’s reports from last week indicated that Stroger was in relatively good condition. But new accounts from early this week indicated that Stroger’s condition was much worse than first reported.

?”Terry Dean